Sunday, November 15, 2015

Trim Reboot

A well-meaning PO had removed the lower boot trim on the car at some juncture in order to repaint.  Unfortunately he or she didn't understand how soft the metal is, which resulted in some damage.

Nothing earth-shattering, mind you, but still of concern.  Both sides had been bashed in the same way, which lent a certain symmetry to the car but little in the way of correctness.

My lucky day arrived when a package from Germany was deposited at my front door by DHL, who actually delivered it on time and without fuss.

New trim pieces.  Lovely.

Getting the old trim off is quite easy as long as you do it carefully. My yellow plastic all-purpose trim tool works very well.

No hammer required, just palm-power.

Once the trim was removed I took the time to notice a couple of paint layers underneath. First was a flat black, which I  have found everywhere on the car. Whether this was a rat-rod paint job or primer to go under the current gold color, I can't say. 

There's even a bit of original Tampico under there!

I replaced, on the flange that holds the trim, the clips that had remained in the old piece, fixing them in the same relative positions. 

It was an easy matter to attach the new trim without any special tool by pushing it into place.

Much better.

As always, a new item tends to show more sharply the defects in the original pieces next to it.

For the other side, the process was repeated except that the photo below was shot within the enclosed garage as Seattle s experiencing a November monsoon.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Rear Bumper Reloaded

This should have been easy. The rear bumper used to look like this.

Now it looks like this.

All I had to do was find a new center bumper piece.  Which I did, as the photo illustrates. 

But to get the old bumper removed and ready for re-installation was not so simple a task. First, the bumper had to be removed.  What was required was to cut the bolt that held the d/s bumper horn to the quarter panel, as the internal cage nut had frozen as hard as an Antarctic glacier.

The end of the bolt still inserted into the cage nut was then drilled out.

And the cage nut re-tapped.

 Last step was to rust-proof the new rig.

At the end it was necessary to take some time to admire the NOS bumper center,  so old the part number sticker on it only contained seven digits.

Now it was reinstalled, to be admired in contrast to the nearby long-neck differential.

All but the first two photos donated by Patrick O'Neil and Midnight Motorsport, who also did all the work (with the exception of sawing the old bumper horn bolt).

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Suspension Bushings and Parking Brake Cables

While renewing the differential and CV boots it seemed like it would be a good idea to replace all the rear suspension bushings. The car definitely was feeling loose toward the stern on Seattle's notoriously well-maintained streets.

The trailing arms and subframe were removed.

Crunchy cracked items prevailed everywhere.

New bushings were lined up like little ducklings behind their mother and installed.

Meanwhile the parking brake cables were swapped. Since I didn't have the correct rubber grommet a small length of hose was stretched over the appropriate area on each cable.

 Sure enough, a day later I located a source for the grommet. As they say in the surfing world, "You should have been here yesterday."

Thanks again to Patrick O'Neil for the photography (with the notable exception of that cable grommet!) and all work performed, live and unexpurgated.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Differential Equation

According to Wikipedia, "a differential equation is a mathematical equation that relates some function with its derivatives."  That sounds about right.

My rear drive had a number of problems, as did its derivatives, otherwise known as the CV boots.  Briefly, most of the seals in the diff leaked.

As did one of the CV boots, the early clear kind with the differential fluid visible inside.

And so all were removed.

A couple of years ago a fellow enthusiast sold me an NOS diff seal kit. They are still available, but almost certainly not in this cool box:

 We also discovered that the old differential mount - yet another derivative - was fried.

Now it was time to take stuff apart.

The inside of the differential looked nice.

The hour arrived to reassemble everything. A special tool was made to aid with installing new CV boots. No heat required to get them back on with this little number.

I was worried that the diff mount might be NLA but no, they even use this version on the E12!  I was also concerned that the metal above this mount would be compromised by rust - this seems to be fairly common with NKs - but my rear structure was still solid after 49 years.

 The differential and CV boots are installed again.

And all is well with the world.

Special thanks to Patrick O'Neil for the work, and for the photography!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

How to Make a New HIrschmann Jewel-Tip Antenna

The good news is that it's easy; the bad news is that you have to already have a real Jewel-tip antenna. Here is the original item on my car, bent and basically broke. The antenna wouldn't retract, either.

The first thing to do is remove the cap on the base with the H engraved on it.

That is accomplished by levering the cap off, since it snaps on. You can see in the photo below that there is a spot on the cap into which you can insert a small tool to pry it off.

At the same time, by heating the red jewel-tip you can easily remove it from the top of the old antenna.

Then it's simply a question of swapping the stem, gluing the red tip back on, and voila!  New antenna.

It's also a good time to get any overspray off the bracket that holds the antenna to the A-pillar.

Thanks to Patrick O'Neil and Midnight Motorsport for the work. Thanks also for the third photo from the top.